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  • VST baskets, dosing

    Hello everyone

    I bought a VST 15 gram basket to replace by Rancilio Sylvia double basket which seems to be 14 grams, i.e. visually VST 15g is a touch larger than standard double Silvia basket.

    I have Rancilio Sylvia and Rocky grinder.

    Anyhow, if I weigh 15 grams of ground beans into the VST 15g basket (or 14 grams into Sylvia double basket) it really only fills up perhaps 2/3 of the basket.
    It (kind of) looks empty after I tamp it! 8^) LOL

    I could never get a good double shot this way, ended up with a lot of water on the top of the puck, the puck was sloppy and crumbled and the taste was never good.

    I tried finer grind and was never happy.

    Only when I went up to 16-17 grams I started getting good results.

    But - it appears from reading posts on this forum that putting 16-17-18 grams into Sylvia double basket or in VST 15g basket is severe over-dosing.

    What have I been doing wrong?

    thanks

  • #2
    Just from my experience playing with a few rockys over the years. They do not match well to VST filters.

    To grind fine enough for 15g in 15g VST filter the rocky needs to be very close to burrs touching. It then takes an eternity to grind the dose. FWIW an average / fit person could beat the rocky for time with a LIDO 3 grinding for VSTs.

    Moving on, even after you have got the grind fine enough for the 15g VST, it is so clumpy that the resulting extraction will be very uneven. Only way around it is to WDT - swirl with toothpick for quite some time to get the distribution right.

    You can get away with 16 - 17g in a 15g VST no worries and I would say it is a good compromise for the grinders weakness. If it is tasting ok to you all the better, do not worry about it.

    For the rocky something like the precision filters Talk Coffee sells would be much more suitable. Precision filter basket 58mm- Espresso parts | Talk Coffee

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm agree with Steve, over the years I've used baskets from a number of different makers, in my opinion Precision baskets are a cut above the rest, easy to use and more forgiving than the basket mentioned by Acid Rider, yes, the coffee they deliver is equally as good and more consistently so.

      Comment


      • #4
        Gday acid,

        I have the same make basket as yours, but the 20g version to satisfy my caffeine needs [emoji15]

        I have done a lot of testing with it and to be honest found it performs best when dosed with the marked weight (or close too). The level can appear low and the puck may be slightly soggy, but if the extraction looks great and tastes great that's what matters.

        As others have said they are not the most forgiving basket so will highlight problems in prep ect, but in my experience nothing worse than if your beans arnt good quality and fresh.

        Comment


        • #5
          thanks everyone!

          Boggas I think you are right on the money re VST.

          I was simply not grinding fine enough for this basket on my Rocky grinder.

          I did some reading on this forum (very, very, very long thread on VST with a lot of heated exchange) and also read on other sites too.
          I ended up getting a very good result on my 15 grams VST ridgeless and Rocky Doser grinder when I dropped the grind -2 levels below what I use on my Rancilio 14-15 gram double and my Synesso 18 grams double baskets i.e. I use grind level 6 with Rancilio/Synesso double baskets and on VST I use grind level 4 instead.

          In fact I may even have to drop it down to grind level 3 in future.

          I also have to use the wooden toothpick to stir, as recommended Steve82, to break up the clumps of the coffee grind due to Rocky being entry level grinder when grinding as such fine level.

          What I had to 'unlearn' (and in a big way) is to stop any worry about a puck that was (very!) wet on top, after extraction, and the puck that did not come out of the basket clean, it kind of crumbled a bit on exit, even though my VST basket is ridgeless and I had to knock is hard to make it come out.

          Note: I also bought a 58.5 mm *flat bottom* tamper Pesado 58.5 mm. I previously used 58 mm tamper which is not completely flat, it has a bump in the middle which may, or may not, suit other double baskets. But a flat bottom tamper of > 58mm seems to suit VST better although 58.5 may be a tiny bit too snug (thoughts??).

          Pesado 58.5 mm tamper seems to work like an engine piston inside the VST basket, there is *zero free play* and the tamp process becomes easily repeatable, you simply press down (varying the pressure to suit the beans?).

          I used 16 grams in the 15 grams VST basket which is within VST recommendations of + or - 1.0 gram (i.e. 14-15-16 gram is optimum range for VST 15g).
          I think if I had a better grinder I might get a better result with 15 grams but with Rocky it seems that 16 grams is a bit easier to handle (TBD?).

          BTW I have bottomless portafilter in my Silvia which is fantastic and highly recommended.

          Early days with my VST (day 2 only) but I still have a lot of questions.

          For example - I managed 36-38 grams extraction from 16 grams in VST-15g in ~28-30 seconds and at 30 second mark I saw 'quick blonding' happening so I immediately cut the shot (easy when using naked PF!).
          It tasted very well but at 36-38 grams it was a double *ristretto* extraction not a double espresso (~50 grams).

          I can not see how a 15-16 grams of beans in any double basket in any machine/grinder can deliver a good double espresso (50 grams).
          I am wrong?
          I think if I want 50 gram double espresso extraction then I will need to buy a VST 20 gram double basket (or even VST 22 gram basket).

          With a 15 gram and even 18 gram double basket I really think the best I can get on any grinder and any coffee machine would be a double *ristretto* i.e. 35-40 grams maximum extraction quantity.

          What do you all think?

          Your opinions are most welcome, I hope to learn here!

          thanks for reading thus far.
          ACID

          Comment


          • #6
            For me, I don't worry too much about 'blonding'. Why? Because it balances out the espresso. With the ratio of grounds to espresso, I find that 1:2 (with maybe a touch over 2) actually works well for my coffee, VST baskets, SJ and Bezzera.

            In terms of language, I've tried to ditch the 'ristretto' and 'shot' to describe the length of shots because different people think that it means totally different things! In light of that, If you want more output, then try tasting it with the blonding (you might be surprised!) OR invest in some deeper baskets. To get 50g total output, I would usually use a 22g because that just works out for me.

            M

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by mwcalder05 View Post
              For me, I don't worry too much about 'blonding'. Why? Because it balances out the espresso. With the ratio of grounds to espresso, I find that 1:2 (with maybe a touch over 2) actually works well for my coffee, VST baskets, SJ and Bezzera.

              In terms of language, I've tried to ditch the 'ristretto' and 'shot' to describe the length of shots because different people think that it means totally different things! In light of that, If you want more output, then try tasting it with the blonding (you might be surprised!) OR invest in some deeper baskets. To get 50g total output, I would usually use a 22g because that just works out for me.

              M
              Yes, we agree!
              I have 20 gram basket too (Synesso) and also Rancilio naked PF Triple basket and I use the triple (~25 grams?) when I want ~50 grams of output.

              Anything smaller than 22-25 grams I find too 'thin' for my taste in 50 gram drink.
              I use the 1:2 or max 1:2.5 rule/ratio also, i.e. 15-16 grams of beans = ~32-36 gram output, 18-20 grams of beans = 36-40 grams output and so on.

              Comment


              • #8
                VST baskets, dosing

                I have a slightly convex, and a flat tamp also. I prefer the 58.5 precision tamp as it leaves a really nice smooth surface in the finished puck, in short the snug fit in the basket is a good thing.

                I must admit my espresso prep is very simplistic, I don't get stressed about the "right ratios" I simply dial it in on 1st taste and 2nd the look of the extraction.

                I always weigh my dose to keep a consistent 20g. Today I weighed my shot to give you some data. On my current beans the result was a 60ml double in 32 seconds at 35 g.

                It tasted great [emoji39]
                Last edited by Boggas; 29 August 2016, 01:56 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Boggas View Post
                  I have a slightly convex, and a flat tamp also. I prefer the 58.5 precision tamp as it leaves a really nice smooth surface in the finished puck, in short the snug fit in the basket is a good thing.

                  I must admit my espresso prep is very simplistic, I don't get stressed about the "right ratios" I simply dial it in on 1st taste and 2nd the look of the extraction.

                  I always weigh my dose to keep a consistent 20g. Today I weighed my shot to give you some data. On my current beans the result was a 60ml double in 32 seconds at 35 g.

                  It tasted great [emoji39]

                  Sounds good to me Boggas.

                  Comment

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